Solicitor Georgina Robinson has said that approximately 25 restaurants have filed High Court proceedings against their insurers in relation to losses incurred due to the COVID-19 crisis, and up to 140 members of the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) also have potential claims.
The news follows last month's news that four pubs that have taken legal action against FBD Insurance in relation to losses resulting from closures due to the COVID-19 crisis will have their cases heard in October.
According to The Irish Times, Robinson O'Neill Solicitors has lodged proceedings against Specialist Underwriting Services on behalf of several restaurants, and legal action is also being taken against other insurers and underwriters.
The Irish Times quotes RAI CEO Adrian Cummins as saying, "Our strategy is to get the cases heard as quickly as possible, perhaps before the cases that the pubs are taking against FBD. Let's see now how the insurance companies react."
The restaurants are taking the cases by way of special summons and are seeking a court declaration that their policies cover them for losses caused by the COVID-19 lockdown. If the restaurants are successful, the issue of how much compensation they should receive will be decided by a separate hearing.
A key factor in restaurants' and pubs' cases is whether a policy clause that covers them for losses due to disease outbreaks within a specific radius of their businesses applies in a situation in which the entire country is in a lockdown.
© 2020 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.